A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

Reactions, news and otherwise

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on June 3, 2007

This morning at the gym I glanced up from a fashion magazine to see a “breaking news” alert from al-Jazeera, whose morning news coverage was largely given over to the ongoing battle at Nahr al-Bared.

UNIFIL denies that any of its units are participating in the Lebanese Army’s operations against Fatah al-Islam

Hmmm. News like this – that focuses on the response, rather than the original news item – fascinates me. And there has been much of it recently. 

Last week I read a news update on Tayyar.org that said merely: There is no bomb in the X Building near Sassine. Of course I was relieved to know that this building was bomb-free (Sassine is a square in Achrafieh, somewhat near where my party-throwing friends live.). But on the other hand, I was a bit curious to know why Tayyar was announcing the status of this building in particular. I would like to think that all buildings here are bomb-free – was there a reason to highlight the status of this one?

Of course, I assumed that Building X was pronounced bomb-free because a bomb threat had suggested it might be otherwise. The trigger event behind most of these ‘reaction’ news stories isn’t usually too hard to guess at.

Today when I returned home and googled “UNIFIL” and “Nahr” I found the unsurprising beginning of the story: accusations made by Fatah al-Islam earlier this morning. Reuters had this to say, in a story that has been picked up by numerous news outlets:

In what was seen as a direct threat against U.N. peacekeepers in south Lebanon, the militants’ spokesman, Abu Salim Taha, told Reuters on Saturday night that a UNIFIL naval force joined the fighting, hitting a civilian shelter and inflicting casualties.

My gym has reacted to ‘the situation’ in Lebanon with a new development of its own – last week it closed its main entrance, requiring all gym-goers to enter via the parking garage.

lifestyles-entrance-6307.jpg

I’ve seen the parking garage security, and I’m unimpressed by it – almost as unimpressed as I am by the idea that Fatah al-Islam is planning to send a suicide bomber on foot into the pedestrian entrance and down two floors to the underground reception in order to target a few track-suited Lebanese.

Oh well. I don’t mind walking around to the garage if it makes them feel better.

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